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An overview of Varicose Veins

Mar 29, 2017

An overview of Varicose Veins

Most commonly seen in women, veins that are swollen, gnarled, twisted and enlarged under skin are known as varicose veins. They are bulging and usually red or blue in color. Often, they appear on the legs, but can be seen on other parts of the body too. Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the organs in your body to the heart. Veins have special valves to prevent the blood from flowing in the reverse direction, if these valves over time become faulty the blood starts collecting in the veins thereby causing them to bulge and swell, causing varicose veins.

Varicose veins are generally caused due to old age. Other possible factors that might lead to this condition are pregnancy, obesity, frequent blood clots, genetic factors, chronic heart valve condition, menopause and excess pressure on legs or the mid-torso.

The most common sign of varicose vein is obviously, swollen veins that appear red or blue in color. Other symptoms may be:

  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Painful legs
  • Itching
  • Skin ulcers
  • Hardened skin around ankles
  • Cramps in the legs or ankles

More often than not, varicose veins do not lead to fatal complications. But in cases it might lead to major health problems due to poor blood flow in the affected part of the body, for instance inability to carry out daily chores, skin conditions like dermatitis, severe bleeding, and blood clots.

Usually, an aggressive treatment is not required for varicose veins. Simple changes in the lifestyle like weight loss, regular exercise, and avoiding standing or sitting in one posture for a long can be enough to get rid of the condition, compressing the veins by wearing garments that put pressure on the veins works too. But if the condition has progressed to a later stage, a surgery is required to get back to normal. The surgery, known as vein stripping, is done by removing the varicose veins via incisions, though this method is used only in the most severe cases.

Varicose veins do tend to get worse with time, but usually do not cause life-threatening problems and can be avoided by following minimal changes in your lifestyle.

Disclaimer: The information given in this write-up is purely for educating the reader. It is not meant to be a substitute for any advice from a medical expert.

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